I needed to walk. I needed to walk a lot.
It was one of those days when a snarky email got me going, interior-wise. That kind of interior work, choosing to not be knee-jerky, is hard for me. When my initial reaction is loaded with spit and vinegar, I know I need to move my body, but not my fingers on the keypad. It’s part of my on going effort to become better at self-differentiation, better at not responding to some comments or emails, better at letting the other person just sit with their words, not having my reaction to justify their immature behavior.
So, I walked.
I walked to yoga, one of my favorite (almost) daily walks. The walk takes me along an urban forest that lines a small river. Looking into the trees I always see something beautiful: deer eating leaves, nestled safely behind the dense branches, but really only a few feet away; a red-tailed hawk standing on the edge of the grass, who looked me straight in the eye until I was a three feet away, and then it flew off; a family of beavers building their den; blue heron’s and of course birds and squirrels of the usual variety. I always see something that delights me and reminds me that there is much to be grateful for.
Yoga class itself, was good – a long meditation restored some sense of equanimity and peace. Yoga serves to provide me with the time and practice to distance myself from any emotion I am feeling. It is particularly good when I am angry, it settles me and helps me gain perspective.
After yoga I walked across the street and had breakfast at the Panera Care’s. Panera Care’s is an experimental restaurant that gathers day old food from all the other nearby Panera’s and resells it. People are invited to pay full price, or any amount they can afford by dropping your payment into a box, so no one knows exactly what you do pay. If you are unable to pay anything you can have one free meal a day. People are also given the opportunity to work in exchange for a meal. So I had breakfast and then headed out on my errands.
I walked to a nearby market to purchase a large jar of raw honey. I use raw unfiltered honey in my coffee and in my protein shakes – good for seasonal allergies and the immune system – assuming one is not allergic to the honey itself.
Then I walked home carrying my yoga mat strapped across my back, water bottle in one hand, and this heavy jar, (think two quarts), of honey in the other.
This walk took along a different route, through a park and across the river. The park offers multiple covered pavilions used by groups and families for picnics and parties. On this particular day an Arabic group was using one of the pavilions. The air was filled with smell of hot dogs and burgers. Live sitar and drum music played loudly through a portable sound system. The music echoed off the concrete sidewalks, asphalt parking lot, and the grass and trees, I could hear it blocks before I came upon it. The sound followed me home, reverberating off the trees in my backyard.
What a town I live in, I thought. Few places on earth enable a walk through such wildly diverse terrain as this composite of land and culture.
I needed to walk.
I’m grateful I did.
Oh, and that snarky email. I never replied. Really, there was nothing to say after all.